Digital Extremes

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Digital Extremes
Type Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1993
Headquarters London, Ontario, Canada
Employees 170
Website www.digitalextremes.com

Digital Extremes is a Canadian computer and video game developer founded in 1993 by James Schmalz, best known for its co-creation of Epic Games' highly successful Unreal series of games. Digital Extremes is headquartered in London, Ontario.

History[edit]

Founded in 1993 by James Schmalz, Digital Extremes is a Canadian game development studio. Founder James Schmalz began developing games at the age of 12, creating an Ultima clone called Sorcery on an Apple IIe computer. From there, he continued dabbling with game development through his University years at University of Waterloo. Upon graduation, left with a choice between a full-time paid engineering position and the option of self-employed game developer, Schmalz chose the latter and created Epic Pinball, published by then shareware publisher, Epic Megagames. Bolstered from the success of Epic Pinball [1] and the rising technology movement in the mid-90's toward realistic 3D graphics, Schmalz officially founded Digital Extremes and the company began co-development with Epic Games on what would become Epic Games' Unreal franchise.[2]

Unreal was a first-person shooter created in 1998, and was followed up with Unreal Tournament in 1999. Both received many editorial and industry awards including Game of the Year.[3] Subsequent sequels in the Unreal franchise, included Unreal Championship, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Unreal Tournament 2004. To date, the Unreal series has sold more than 15 million units worldwide across a multitude of gaming platforms including PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac and PC. Several of the game's iterations are currently available for download on Steam (software).

After years of working in the same universe with Unreal, Digital Extremes broadened its library and technology with development of its original IP, Dark Sector. A third-person shooter, released in 2008 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, Dark Sector used Digital Extremes' proprietary game engine, the Evolution Engine.

Following Dark Sector, Digital Extremes continued expansion in response to the growth in the industry and the need to stay competitive through the next-generation console transition. In recent years, Digital Extremes has assisted 2K with the PS3 version of blockbuster hit, Bioshock,[4] as well as developed the multiplayer component of the sequel, Bioshock 2 while simultaneously developing the multiplayer portion of THQ's first-person shooter, Homefront.[5]

The studio recently finished development on 2K's The Darkness II, based on the popular comic book series of the same name. The Darkness II launched in North America on February 7, 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and February 10, 2012, worldwide.

Digital Extremes developed the game for the Star Trek Into Darkness movie, working with Namco Bandai and Paramount to develop Star Trek the game.

Present[edit]

Digital Extremes has recently developed Warframe, a Free-to-play title.[6] It is commonly seen as a sequel to (or at the very least, a spiritual successor to) Dark Sector, a previous game which shares many themes and references with Warframe

Warframe is a free third person shooter, placing the players in a position to play co-op, solo, or with a large group against multiple enemy AIs. They must take back the Solar System from the Grineer Empire, the Corpus, and other various enemies. It is currently in update 13 and is available for download via Steam, their official website, or via PS4.

Employment Environment & Awards[edit]

Digital Extremes employment environment has been recognized as one of Canada's Top Employer's for 2010, 2011 and 2012.[7] Additionally, the company has been recognized as one of Canada's top employers for Young People.[8] In 2010 and 2011, the Financial Post named Digital Extremes one of the ten best companies to work for in Canada.[9] On the provincial level, Digital Extremes received the Ontario Small Business Award in 2010.[10] Digital Extremes was also presented with the Large Business of the Year award in 2011 from the London Chamber of Commerce.[11] Digital Extremes was also awarded the Excellence in Human Resources award from The London Chamber of Commerce in early 2012.[12] In 2011, a Quality Assurance tester filed a claim with the Ontario Ministry of Labour for alleged working hour violations and unpaid overtime, on the basis that the Quality Assurance tester position did not fall under an "Information Technology Professional" exemption from working hour and overtime pay regulations. The Ministry upheld the claim and Digital Extremes complied with its judgment without contest.[13]

Evolution Engine[edit]

The Evolution Engine logo

The Evolution Engine is Digital Extremes' proprietary game engine.[14] The engine made its debut with Dark Sector; and was again utilized in The Darkness II.[15] 2013's Star Trek: The Game featured use of the Evolution Engine; and is again being used for the free-to-play online title Warframe.

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
DC DOS Lin Mac PS PS2 PS3 PS4 Win Xbox X360
1992 Solar Winds No Yes No No No No No No No No No
1993 Epic Pinball No Yes No No No No No No No No No
1993 Silverball No Yes No No No No No No No No No
1995 Extreme Pinball No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No
1998 Unreal No No No Yes No No No No Yes No No
1999 Unreal Tournament Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No No
2001 Adventure Pinball: Forgotten Island No No No No No No No No Yes No No
2002 Unreal Championship No No No No No No No No No Yes No
2002 Unreal Tournament 2003 No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No
2004 Unreal Tournament 2004 No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No
2005 Pariah No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No
2006 Warpath No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No
2008 Dark Sector No No No No No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2008 BioShock No No No No No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2010 BioShock 2 (multiplayer) No No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2011 Homefront No No No No No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2012 The Darkness II No No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2013 Star Trek No No No No No No Yes No Yes No Yes
2013 Warframe No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RGB Classic Games. "Epic Pinball". RGB Classic Games. 
  2. ^ David Jenkins (2007-08-20). "Digital Extremes Weighs In On Unreal Engine 3 for PS3". Gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ "GT Interactive and Epic Games Earn Coveted 'Game of the Year' Honors for 'Unreal Tournament'". Business Wire. February 17, 2000. p. 1261. 
  4. ^ Mike Bendel (2008-06-08). "Digital Extremes To Assist In BioShock PS3 Development". exophase.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  5. ^ Jaz McDougall (2010-08-18). "Homefront PC port has dedicated servers". pcgamer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  6. ^ Kotaku (2012-08-10). "Warframe, The Next Game From The Darkness II’s Developers, Looks Interesting". kotaku. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  7. ^ Canada's Top 100 (2011-10-07). "Canada's Top 100 Employers: National Competition". Canadastop100.com. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  8. ^ Canada's Top 100 (2011-09-19). "Canada's Top 100 Employers for Young People". Canadastop100.com. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  9. ^ Canada's Top 100 (2011-02-01). "Financial Post's Ten Best Companies To Work For". Canadastop100.com. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  10. ^ Jody Lundrigan (201-09-16). "Twelve Ontario Businesses Named Winners of Business and Export Excellence". http://occ.on.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  11. ^ London Chamber of Commerce. "Business Achievement Awards – Business of the Year Hall of Fame". 
  12. ^ London Free Press. "Celebrating City's Best". 
  13. ^ Ministry of Labour. "Digital Extremes Employment Standards Claim December 2011". 
  14. ^ Mark DeLoura (2010-03-09). "In-Depth: The State Of Game Engines At GDC 2010". gamasutra.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  15. ^ Kranzl, Justin. "Preview: The Darkness II". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 09-06-2011. 

External links[edit]